Pregnancy can be one of the most incredible times in a woman’s life. My first pregnancy was healthy and uneventful and I was gifted with my handsome, first-born son. Soon thereafter, unbeknownst to me, my thyroid went haywire and Hashimotos was triggered in my body, which, in hindsight, was due to estrogen fluctuations and two root canals and crowns I had done by a conventional dentist.
I Trusted My Doctors
I didn’t yet know I had Hashimotos and consequently, trying to conceive became a nightmare. I knew I never felt quite right but at the time I knew nothing about my thyroid or anything about my body. I went to lots of doctors appointments and they all said I was “fine” and my CBC lab results were completely normal. It was frustrating because I knew I didn’t feel normal.
It took a very long time for my second pregnancy to become reality. After years of trying, we finally conceived a baby girl. We were elated! She would have been ten this year and her name was Olivia. Sadly, my pregnancy with her ended in a miscarriage. It was absolutely heart-wrenching and devastating. Losing her was literally one of the worst things to ever happen in my life. It wouldn’t be until I miscarried my sweet baby boy, Joshua a year later that I began to realize there was a serious problem.
Between My Miscarriages
The year in between losing my babies I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and Hashimotos Thyroiditis. I was told by the top endocrinologist to a major league baseball team who was my doctor at the time, to take a synthetic thyroid hormone called T4 (Synthroid), and I would be fine. Blindly, I did just that without researching anything or learning anything about what I had been diagnosed with. These tragedies would be etched into the engraving of my life forever. It has been said that our pain becomes our purpose. I believe that with all my heart! I want to share with you 3 thyroid details I wish I’d known to prevent miscarrying my babies.
1 The Importance of Thyroid Testing BEFORE Conception
Thyroid hormone resides in every single cell in our bodies. It’s responsible for metabolism, extracting vital nutrients from food, production of other hormones, development of our nervous system and much more. It literally affects every organ and tissue that we have. Thyroid hormone is that important! Before trying to conceive and not during, be sure, when getting a physical that your doctor does a full thyroid panel on you. Do not let them tell you you’re too young. It’s simply not true this day and age. According to the American Thyroid Association, 1 in 8 women will develop a thyroid condition in their lifetime. A full thyroid panel consists of testing Free T3, Free T4, TSH, Reverse T3 and TPO and TgAb Antibodies (we’ll talk about those in a bit.) If you don’t have a doctor willing to do these exact tests, please, please find another one! It is absolutely critical that you know if your thyroid gland is functioning optimally before you get pregnant. Your baby will not live if it is not getting the thyroid hormone it needs because thyroid hormone is responsible for brain development during the first trimester. At best, with an undiagnosed, dysfunctional thyroid, your baby could be born with developmental and mental handicaps. It’s really simple, be sure that you have a doctor willing to perform those lab tests and properly analyze them. If I had a doctor do those tests my little Olivia would be with me today.
2 Obtain The Best TSH Level BEFORE Conception
If your TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is high or way below normal it is an indicator that something has gone awry in your body. It may be your hypothalamus or pituitary gland or the thyroid gland itself. Thyroid stimulating hormone is what tells your thyroid gland to make the inactive thyroid hormone T4. With subpar TSH levels, your thyroid won’t get the correct signals to make the proper amount of T4 that your body can convert to the active thyroid hormone T3 (which is what the baby needs.) When the thyroid does not make the proper amount of T4 it cannot support a new life. Your optimal TSH level should be between 1 and 2 and always below 2.5 to conceive and have a healthy baby.
3 Get Your Thyroid Screened For Hashimotos BEFORE Conception
Once you’ve found a doctor that will do a full and proper thyroid lab panel, they should certainly include thyroid antibodies in the labs. If Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) and/or Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb) are elevated it’s an indication that your thyroid gland is being attacked by your own body and you have Hashimotos. In other words, if these antibodies test positive in your blood then this test will confirm Hashimotos. When your thyroid gland is being damaged by antibodies it will have a difficult time making the necessary thyroid hormone to support your baby’s life. I always recommend getting a follow-up thyroid ultrasound to further confirm Hashimotos and measure the amount of damage that has been done to the gland. Ruling out Hashimotos can mean life for your baby! If you test positive for Hashimotos, then properly treating this autoimmune condition is crucial not only to your well-being but your baby’s too. If I had been treating my Hashimotos, through lifestyle interventions like diet and detox I might not have lost my second baby Joshua.
Known Your Body
A healthy functioning thyroid gland is of utmost importance for conceiving as well as delivering a bright-eyed and strong baby. A lot of the health work needs to be done before you conceive. Find a doctor willing to run and interpret a full thyroid panel including Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, TSH, TPO Antibodies and TgAB Antibodies. Be sure your TSH is at an optimal level and get screened for Hashimotos to rule out the autoimmune factor. Doing these three things before conceiving will prevent you from going through the uncalled for heartache that I did. I wish I had known these things and that my doctor would have educated himself and me. I could have had my two little sweethearts with me today.